Young adults in Provo are familiar with the “ring by spring” phenomenon, encouraging couples to get engaged by the time they are finished with their final semester of college. As Winter Semester at BYU has come to an end, the budding spring season is seeing an influx in wedding planning.
Local floral shops are one business directly affected by this cultural trend.
Corrine Smith is the manager of Campus Floral, BYU’s floral shop located on University Parkway. Since she has been working with Campus Floral for nearly 10 years, Smith has seen firsthand the effects of “ring by spring.” A bride’s timeline is key in planning wedding florals.
Smith said it takes a long time to recipe out each order, planning what flowers a bride needs and ordering the products from wholesalers with enough time to find substitute flowers if a product is not available.
“If the bride is not picky, we can do something the same week if we have to,” Smith said. “We prefer not to do that, I would like to have at least three months notice.”
Smith explained that if a bride comes in with a cramped timeline, she is often left with fewer options of flowers to choose from and a more expensive order.
Miriam Housely has been the owner of Foxglove, a flower and gift shop on Center Street, for five years. She shared her thoughts on the “crazy” turnaround during the short window between semesters.
“I feel like in other states, the timeline would be horrifying. But for us, it’s normal,” Housely said. “We have a lot of people who are planning like a month ahead, which is crazy.”
Housely added that Foxglove takes extra care to prepare during the spring season.
“We have more days available for consultations,” Housely said. “I plan out our weddings pretty far in advance so we know what we have available, and we just have more staff on for those times.”
Sarah Ebert, founder and owner of Pressed Floral in Orem, said her business revolves around wedding season.
Ebert and the staff at Pressed Floral also take steps to stay ahead of the wave of incoming customers.
“Most of our team has been hired and trained these past months of the beginning of the year so they’re well-trained and ready for the busy season,” she said.
Marketing is another item on the checklist Ebert says is vital in preparing for wedding season.
“We prepare a lot of ads so that when our brides are on social media planning their weddings, they see our content,” she said.
One issue Smith runs into is unrealistic expectations, often found through social media.
“Pinterest is great for inspiration. But reality doesn’t equate with that inspiration,” she said.
According to Smith, if brides want elaborate flower pieces for their wedding, they need to be prepared for the price.
A solution to this is what Smith called “floral dupes.” For example, if someone wants peonies in their bouquet but cannot afford the $27 stems, they can replace those with garden roses — a similar but cheaper alternative.
Recent inflation has increased pricing for local floral shops.
“What a rose used to cost a couple of years ago versus what a rose costs now has gone up probably about 30%,” Smith said.
Smith explained that Campus Floral tries to “buy smart” and order flowers directly from floral farms in Ecuador and Columbia, and try to limit a middle person which increases the cost. This is why, Smith said, brides should plan ahead and get their orders in as soon as possible so there is time to order all of their desired flowers at a reasonable cost.
The hardest thing about Smith’s job, she said, is turning away brides during the busy season. Smith advised brides to make booking their florals a priority — not a second thought — when it comes to wedding planning.